Poem: The Glen Plaid Suit

Updated on June 5, 2018

The Suit of My Family Legacy

When my mother passed away recently, I went through her closet. And there it was: my glen plaid suit. It was the suit I wore only once to my bar mitzvah, but it was the suit that my mother valued as one of our family artifacts. It was also the suit that I dreaded to wear, even if it was for only one day. But when you're barely 13, one day seemed like a lifetime. I since donated the suit to Goodwill hoping that it would become a legacy for some other family. I often think of what that suit meant to me and how it touched my family. I'm sure when my parents remember me in the afterlife, I'll be wearing that suit, baggy and all.

Poem: The Glen Plaid Suit

When I was thirteen,
I bought a suit
that promised
magical powers.

It would help transform
me into a man,
no longer a boychik
with knobby knees,
my father said.

My father took me
to see the Wizard of Suits
on South Street,
a store of many colors
and fabrics.

The Wizard spoke softly
in a South Philly accent,
“I’ll scratch your back
if you scratch mine.”

My father agreed
and the Wizard spun
a powerful, noble suit
into a double-breasted
glen plaid.

In return my father
gave the Wizard
a satchel of silver
and one of my
least favorite siblings.

The Wizard promised
that if I wear the suit,
I could possess the world
in my hands.

In my heart,
I didn’t believe him.
I’d much rather have
a three-quarter length jacket
in soft black leather.

When the special day arrived,
I wore my magical suit.
It felt heavy and hung loosely
off my feeble body.

The sleeves were too long,
the pants were baggy.
The necktie kept cutting off
my oxygen supply.

I yearned to be in cut-off jeans,
a loose-fitting tee-shirt,
sneakers or a pair of sandals
instead of cordovan wingtips.

I wished I had a Louisville Slugger
instead of a holy book in my hands.
I wished I wore a baseball hat
instead of a skull cap on my head.

But I read the few lines of Hebrew,
did what the rabbi said,
and collected my mitzvah gelt
in sealed envelopes
from all my smiling relatives.

It was the only time,
I wore that magical suit,
a cumbersome suit of armor.
It still hangs on a wire hanger
in my mother’s dusty closet.

Video Poem by Mark Tulin: The Glen Plaid Suit


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thank you, Shyron. I will.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Mark, you have my sympathy for the passing of your mom.

      I can see uncomfortable you

      In you over size magical Glen Plaid suit

      With your wingtip shoes you wanted to fly

      Away from there where things fit just right

      Not to lose and not to tight

      But, treasure those memories of just one night.

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      thank you, manatita.

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Nice suit; cute memories.

      At least you wrote a poem about it. You read well. Cool!

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thank you, Tim. You’re dead on about growing into our suits as we grow older. I’m certainly getting comfortable in mine. Thank your for the comment as always.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago from U.S.A.

      Wonderful, Mark.

      I read your poem twice and listened to the reading.

      Memorable. I thought about the first time I wore a suit I wished I would never see again, and smiled.

      You captured the feelings of youth and I could see myself smiling with your family, while you would secretly rather be swinging a baseball bat.

      I have some very good Jewish friends and I will encourage them to read your poem.

      Thinks for the memories, and may you have peace.

      Our suits (skin, emotions, mental abilities, etc.) eventually grow to fit us from youth to adulthood. Your parents dressed you well.



    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      I am definitely aware of its importance more now than when I was a kid, Hari. Thanks for the read.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      2 years ago from Bangalore

      Cool poetry and recitation too. Mark it's a traditional wear i suppose, so it must be important that you wrote a poetry.

      - hari


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)